Research School Network: Newham Communication Project How can we best support children’s communication and language in the Early Years
Newham Communication Project
How can we best support children’s communication and language in the Early Years
by East London Research School
In this webinar, Fliss James and Melissa Prendergast consider research evidence that highlights the best ways to support children’s communication and language in the Early Years.
They discuss how this evidence shaped the strategies used in our early communication projects – Manor Park Talks and the Newham Communication Project.
They discuss the structure of the professional development and the strategies practitioners were supported to implement in order to develop young children’s communication skills.
As practitioners, we know that communication is fundamental to children’s learning, to their thinking and to their emotional well-being. It is at the heart of child development. We know that communication and language skills are central to later educational achievement, employment and health (The Institute of Health Equity, 2020).
This is reflected in changes to the EYFS Statutory Framework and Development Matters with a new focus on early language and extending vocabulary (Sept 2021).
When we consider the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdowns on young children, this focus on early communication is even more timely and important.
In 2019, Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre ran a pilot called ‘Manor Park Talks’ which focused on developing high-quality adult-child interactions . This pilot was funded by EEF to see whether the intervention was ready to be delivered across all nurseries in Newham. The pilot was very successful and the evaluation concluded that the revised intervention could be implemented across all settings in Newham.
East London Research School ran a revised and expanded programme called the ‘Newham Communication Project’ with PVI settings and school nursery classes in Newham this year. This new professional development project was supported by the maintained nursery schools in Newham, with each school creating a local hub for change, led by a trained mentor.
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Taking time to talk: prioritising communication and language in the early years
Supporting children to become better communicators is one of the most powerful things we do as early years educators.